I remember way back in season 2, on the long gone twop page, when dina left and it was clear that danielle wasn't coming back, the campaign to get Melissa ok the show. I remember posts there and elsewhere (maybe all about the tea? Did that exist back then?) about how "they should cast Melissa Gorga!" followed by "OMG Melissa Gorga would be so perfect." It wasn't constant but I read it enough to think "Who is this Melissa Gorga that everybody is praising and why don't i know who she is??"
Later it became clear on FW, AATT, and elsewhere that the casting of Melissa and Joe wasn't quite as innocent as they liked to make it seem. There was a clear campaign and effort to get themselves on, and yes that included her sisters all over the internet promoting her while causing other problems. Somewhere along the way Melissa even admitted that they pissed off the network. But that was long after she was established as a vital part of the housewives drama.
I have said before that I am doing a rewatch. It is fascinating to watch given all that we know now. You can see the stress and anxiety building in Joe Giudice. Melissa's innocent "Teresa is the problem" act is total b.s as she too caused so much trouble. The hypocrisy was amazing. The tackiness of the gorgas was loud and clear. Joe Gorgas attitude towards his wife and sex was just as disgusting as Juicy, just in a different way. The Manzo's and Lauritas did PLENTY wrong towards Tre. Jacq was a complete busybody and drama whore. And the "oh so nice and careful" Wakiles were anything but. The Giudice pile-on was kind of amazing and really quite obvious. I can only assume that because we as viewers were also reading the tabloids and press about Tre and Joe, that the became easy targets and everybody earned a buck off of that.
And look, I get what Tre and Joe did. But that isn't a pass for anything goes. But there are clear scenes where Teresa is desparate for anybody to acknowledge her feelings, and gets nothing but hits about how awful she is.
And to quote Kim Kardashian, teresa "bought them a fucking career."
The ONLY OG on this show is Tre. Not Danielle. Not Melissa. Tre. A full housewife, every season, since season 1. And for more than half of it's lifetime, the show has revolved around the Giudices. I hate to say it but if the Giudices left the show now? Or in season 3? Or 6? It would maybe squeak out a season. Like her or hate her, these bitches are nothing without Teresa Giudice.